Risk, Entitlements and Fairness Bias: Explaining Preferences for Redistribution in Multi-person Setting
AbstractResearchers frequently studied the casual relationships of other-regarding preferences by applying experimental methods in bilateral settings (e.g., dictator game and ultimatum game). We use a framed experiment on taxes to study preferences for redistribution in a multi-person setting. We find presence of heterogeneous preferences with a substantial share of tax rate choices in line with both payoff maximization and other-regarding preferences. Notably, our data is not consistent with inequality aversion but points to other forms of other-regarding preferences, as fairness and altruism. By manipulating how subjects are assigned to a given level of pre-tax income, we vary the individual entitlements. We find a difference in the willingness to redistribute income when comparing the treatment where pre-tax income is assigned by relative performance in a production task (a general knowledge quiz) to the treatment where pre-tax income is assigned by luck. We do not find any significant difference in comparison to the intermediate treatment where pre-tax income is assigned by a combination of luck and performance. The perception of a "fair" tax is different depending on whether subjects' pre-tax income is below or above average, which is in line with a fairness bias. Finally, subjects not knowing whether their pre-tax income is below or above the average when choosing the tax rate behave as if they were more other-regarding.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-061.
Date of creation: 12 Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Redistribution; Entitlements; Fairness Bias; Risk; Framed Tax Experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-11-17 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-11-17 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-11-17 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2012-11-17 (Public Economics)
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